“How to go back to basics by yourself”
By Kevin & Donna
Oh yes! I want that more than anything. But how do I begin, especially when
I’m married to a person or have teenagers who don’t want to change?”
If this is true for you, you have found the right place. What you are about to read contains real, practical information about living a simple life. It’s not about double coupon shopping, consignment clothes, social networking, y2k dehydrated food storage, kerosene lamps, saving extra coffee pots or old jars, lids, scrap metal, ploughs, milk cows, raising chickens, mules, Granny’s homemade-lye soak, canning, nor is it about shrewd investing, socking away a huge, market-hefty portfolio so you can retire on $50,000 a year in investments. It’s not about sitting in coffee shops, reading the paper all afternoon, visiting art galleries or going to the ballet while the poor middle class struggles to pay their natural gas, grocery and medical bills. No, this article is about how to walk the path of simplicity alone, how to reach personal satisfaction in life and how to achieve practical skills that lead to spiritual fulfillment! It is about attaining the only two things in life that are truly valuable – health and peace.
The beautiful thing is that it leads to true simplicity without dependence on anyone else achieving it with you. Your husband, wife or child does not have to trek this path. You can do it alone. Simple determination can and will make all the difference in the world for you. The only things lacking for most people are practical information and a duplicable model. Hopefully, the information we are providing will stimulate the necessary “intellectual fermentation” which will allow you to begin taking responsibility for your own health and peace.
There is a logical sequence to follow in living the simple life. We won’t try to convince you, because if you are reading this article, that is enough. You are committed. Now all you lack is the knowledge on how to start. Since Donna and I have created a beautiful life of voluntary creative simplicity, we can confidently say that it is of utmost importance to maximize your level of health. This is the most important thing you have to do. Unless you reach the highest level of health possible, it is unlikely that you will be able to enjoy your life, because you will always be chasing your tail, taking prescriptions, buying supplements, purchasing over-the-counter medications and doing all the things that poor health requires to be comfortable. You must understand that there is no greater asset than your health. In fact, we know this to be absolutely true. And it’s safe to say this: if you are not interested in absolute, radiant health, forget it, you will never achieve simplicity!
We realize there are many theories about nutrition, diet and supplements. But when you go back to nature, everything makes sense. The first thing to do is be willing to simplify your diet. Simplifying your diet has a rippling effect down the line. It affects all the other aspects of life; not just health, but everything from food preparation, food storage, fuel consumption, kitchen design, the amount of money you have to earn to eat, the kind of clothes you need to go to work, day care costs, medical bills, transportation expenses, time spent away from home… it’s totally mind boggling when you realize how everything links back to our food choices. Be sure to read our article entitled, “Natural Diet, The Secret Skill”. It will give you some interesting things to think about.
Women tend to be more open about dietary changes than men. But even though she is usually responsible for all the shopping and food preparation, women feel obligated to avoid making any changes that would probably not be welcomed by her family. So she ends up sacrificing her own health just to keep everyone else appeased. It just seems too hard to initiate changes in diet. However, if she is the chief cook and bottle-washer, she should take responsibility for her own health, begin to prepare healthy meals and refuse to compromise. Women should not have to prepare two meals, a healthy one for herself and a typical health-destroying meal for her family. There is no easy answer, but it is not impossible. She can begin by educating herself about natural diet. In order to simplify the subject of healthy food, we’ll explain it like this:
Healthy food is that which has not been tampered with in any way. It has not been processed, bottled, boxed, frozen, canned, heat-treated, preserved, electrocuted, injected with hormones or anti-biotics, sprayed, colored, thickened, pasteurized, defoliated, fumigated, radiated, gassed, waxed, stamped, stapled or whatever. So what does that leave? It leaves only basic, whole foods, such as brown rice, millet, oats, buckwheat, wheat berries, organic raw fruit, potatoes, yams, organic, raw vegetables, raw seeds, nuts, leafy green vegetables, herbs, fresh, wild game or home raised meats. That’s about it.
These kinds of foods are wonderful, tasty and delicious, and very easy to prepare. I know that it’s hard to believe, but it is the truth. You can make wonderful meals for a family of four in less than 30 minutes! But you have to think differently about meals. The best way to eat is 25% cooked food and 75% raw. When you prepare meals this way, it gets really easy and is delicious and satisfying. The reason people who are heavy cooked-food addicts are so hungry all the time, and need a large volume of food to feel satisfied, is because they are nutritionally starving. Raw foods satisfy hunger and so you need less!
Now think about how much money gets spent on all the foods that are not listed above… Think about all the life-destroying foods that are available: sodas, chips, boxed cereals, frozen dinners, candy bars, bottled juices, all store-bought dairy products, all commercially grown meats, cigarettes, alcohol, salted nuts, white rice, white sugar, white flour, pastries, doughnuts, commercially grown eggs, canned corn, canned fruit and on and on. Even if it says “organic” on the label and costs three times more and comes from the health food store, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy!
It is important to learn how to eat differently. This is what Donna and I have been saying for years. And it is so true. If you want to live the highest level of simplicity possible, if you want to help sustain the future of the planet you live on, you have to make healthy food choices.
Now, once you are ready to
do that, you can begin following the pathway to simplicity. No one can make
any kind of radical diet change overnight. It is a slow process. It has
taken us eight years of patience, practice and study. Hopefully, we have
provided you with enough information on our web site to make it easier.
The information is out there. This is a wonderful country to live in. Each
one of us has all the resources we need to realize radiant health and satisfying
lives. All we have to do is take positive, baby steps toward the goals of
health and peace.
The Five Steps to Simplicity
Here is our strategy. This
is the pathway Donna and I traveled to reach where we are today. And it
is how you can achieve simplicity as well. Don’t worry about others. Just
start applying these suggestions, and in time, you will realize freedom
from the confines of debt and complication:
Step one: Learn to appreciate the basics of life. As long as you are “renting a life”, making payments
for luxury vehicles or fancy houses, you are dependent upon your job. Consider what would happen if and when the day comes
that you can’t make the payments. That is why
I strongly urge everyone to cut up all your credit cards except one and
keep that one somewhere out of your impulsive grasp. The basic things of
life are the most satisfying. They are our “real” pleasures. These are the
things that promote health and peace. These
are: nature, enjoying family, friends, meditation, beautiful music, simple
food, exercise and artistic expression.
Step two: Pay off all your debts as soon as possible.
(If you have abused credit cards and owe compounded interest, and it doesn’t
seem possible to ever pay it off without putting your grandchildren into
debt, consider filing for bankruptcy.) And at the same time, start developing
real-life skills that promote self-reliance, such as natural diet, herbal
remedies, sprouting, indoor gardening, simple carpentry and building, etc.
Also, read and study the suggestions in our article entitled, “Natural Healing, Taking Responsibility for Your Health and Healing.” There are 18 things you can do
for yourself to help your physical and emotional well-being.
Step three: Operate strictly on a cash basis only.
That way you will not overspend by making credit purchases and paying extra
in interest costs. We highly recommend the book, “Your Money
or Your Life,” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It will
give you practical advice about getting clear and coming to peace about
money. This book saved our lives!
Step four: Focus all available cash to building wealth,
and store up a few essential commodities such as food, seeds, toilet paper,
soap, tools and extra fuel. Real wealth is perishable. Money is not
real wealth…food is. Buy things in bulk when you can. This will help you
save money on transportation costs, packaging, etc. It also keeps you from
habitually dashing to Wal-Mart and spending money on things
that are not really necessary. Also, store away cash for a rainy day. The
reason people spend money compulsively on “useless” things is because they
are bored and don’t feel good about themselves. When you follow the suggestions
in our “Natural Healing” article, you will start to
feel better about who you are and what your purpose is – you won’t feel
the need to spend money because you’re unhappy or bored.
Step five: Consider moving to a cheaper, smaller house
or perhaps a safer location, especially if you don’t own your own home. There are many people living in cities who could
realize a high level of freedom simply by liquidating their assets and moving
to the country to live in a modest dwelling like the B.E.L.L. or similar
small house or cabin. My opinion is that because
they equate such a frugal lifestyle with poverty, they are resigned to “renting
a life” in order to maintain the illusion of affluence and security. The fact is, they are often living one paycheck away
from homelessness. Where’s the security in that? The
ability to keep up payments is not a wise use of resources. What is truly
valuable is having a little piece of land (1/4 acre) to have a small garden
and a few fruit trees. In the future, as food, fuel and medical costs continue
to rise, we are going to have to start growing a portion of our own food.
Why wait until it’s too late. There is no greater feeling of freedom than
that of producing your own, healthy, organic food.
The things we’ve suggested are really quite simple. It takes time to over-haul one’s life, but it is the most worthwhile pursuit one can make. In time, you will realize the same thing we have, that it doesn’t take that much money to live. You don’t have to save $100,000 or win the lottery to live a satisfying life. You can make real progress each day. All it takes is the understanding and the willingness to “stop” doing all the things that got you in the situation you’re in and “start” doing the things that will liberate you.Many advocates in the simple living movement promote the idea of saving lots of stuff that you might need for the future. But we think it’s easier to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need. That frees you from having to sort through junk and storing it. The basic things in life are the most satisfying. Learn to appreciate the wisdom of the “Greatness in the Smallness,” because, as the Greek philosopher Diogenes said, “the only real freedom is in the minimum of needs.”
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